Translated by SeungYoun Woo
Charlie Albright, who has a real talent for playing the piano, is involved in the Harvard-NEC Joint Program and at the same time, he is majoring in pre-med and economics at Harvard University.
“Albright is among the most gifted musicians of his generation.”
“He has distinctive musicality, overwhelming virtuosity, and a jaw-dropping technique.”
These compliments are from the Washington Post and the New York Times to Charlie Albright (22), who performed his concert at the beginning of this month.
Albright, a Korean-American, received the compliment that “he has a gift for music” after his outstanding performance with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra on May 14th and with the Boston Pops on May 17th and 18th at Symphony Hall.
In 2009, Albright received the Gilmore Young Artist Award, which goes to the most competent pianist. Also, that same year, he won first prize from the Young Concert Artist Competition, which is known as the gateway of famous musicians throughout the world.
After earning the glory of winning these prizes, he is now supported by a manager, and he started a concert tour around the States once or twice a week. Also, he is continuously studying pre-med and economics at Harvard University.
Four years ago, Albright was the first successful applicant of the piano department of the Harvard-New England Conservatory 5-Year BA/MM Joint Program, which was made to produce excellent musicians.
Wha-Kyung Byun, who gives lessons to Albright at NEC commented, “He is born to be a pianist. He has a perfect sense of unity with the piano, and it makes his performance very appealing and charismatic.”
Professor Byun added, “Because of these reasons, teaching him is very pleasing. However, on the other hand, it is a problem to me since I have to teach him in a way to make the most of his special talent."
Albright showed his talent in playing the piano when he was 3 years old. Albright’s mother, Hyesoo Albright, used to enjoy playing the piano and she played Korean children’s songs and classics during the time she was bearing Charlie. The mother said she wanted her baby to retain Korean culture after being born in a foreign country.
One day, while the mother was preparing dinner, she heard a children’s song played on the piano. When she followed the sound, she saw Albright playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." She was very surprised.
At the time, she had never taught Albright how to play the piano, and he was not able to read music. Since then, Albright started to play Korean pop songs and children’s songs without a score.
The mother decided to develop her son’s musical talent and Albright started to have lessons from Nancy Adsit when he turned 7. In 2005, he won many prizes from different competitions, including the first prize of Ⅱ YM International Piano Competition. Albright’s mother said the prizes he won and news articles about him are stored in huge plastic boxes.
Albright’s remarkable talent for piano and excellent study becomes an issue among Harvard students.
He was selected as the first of the 15 Most Interesting Seniors, which was reported in the Harvard Crimson. Charlie Albright, a young man with a strong spirit and his very own firm mind said, “Piano is the main thing I want to do; however, if I cannot become a famously known master in the world, then I would rather become a doctor and help people.”
On the other hand, with his economics degree, he can participate in some economic activities. He shows filial devotion by helping out his father, who is still hospitalized after cancer surgery from many years ago, and his mother, who has been leading the family instead of her husband.
Albright also knows how to show kindness to others, having received help himself. He raised funds through his 2009 concert and donated to his school, Centralia High School, in order to help pay for the college entrance of 7 low-income seniors whose families could not afford to help them. He added, “I was raised in a small poor village.”
Moreover, he donated a piano to Centralia College, where he took some pre-med classes when he was in high school.
Professor Byun, referring to Albright, said, “He is one of the most admired by piano students in the United States.” Liberal with praise for Albright, she also added, “He is very faithful and he always does his best, not only playing the piano but also studying and getting involved in other fields.”
Vice President Joe Biden was quoted as praising Albright thusly: "If I did my job as well as you (Charlie) do yours, I'd be President."
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지